Councilor Cadogan Enright has supported a call from fellow Councilor Robert Burgess for a full report by management at next month’s Environment Committee on Council managements failure to take prosecutions for dumping at Downpatrick’s Heritage Railway system based on witness statements, photographs, maps and people willing to give evidence about the dumping.
Cllr Enright said, “We now believe that the situation has raised the whole attitude of the department as needing to be brought to committee for attention. The reluctance to prosecute, the apparent belief that patrolling is a substitute for prosecutions, and even the suggestion that patrolling itself is no use as staff wear high-vis uniforms so the dumpers will simply wait till they are out of sight. It almost sounds like this department are trying to do themselves out of a job.”
Cllr Burgess said “I have reviewed this correspondence and note that the department received witness statements from the then Chair of Down Railway accompanied by maps and photographs. The excuses for not pursuing this matter were quite unacceptable. When someone is prepared to write in with supporting materials like this they MUST be taken seriously.”
Cllr Burgess continued “I note that considerable effort was expended by railway representatives to provide the environmental department with the material to take action against the small group of repeat offenders who deposit such a large amount of litter in the car parking areas facing the railway on the right hand side.”
“I note that even at this late stage council officials could take action to trace these individuals, but seem to me making a new round of unacceptable excuses as to why they should not do so. I am insisting that action is now taken to trace the drivers of these vehicles.” Said Cllr Robert Burgess,
“We have a situation here where we know where the offending occurs, know when it occurs, we know several of the regular offenders and their cars of which we have photographs and we have witness statements. It is open for our staff to go down their most evenings and make prosecutions, or follow up on existing good witness statements. The solutions here are very obvious to Robert Burgess and I and we will be expecting answers at our next meeting.” Concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright